Shocking (Post #311) 1/11/2013

If you are a regular reader you will remember, or perhaps you will not, that I found the broken shock mount back in July 2012 when I was working on the steering box. At the time I did nothing about it.

As you can well imagine that would come back to haunt me. While driving the Range Rover during the latest little bit of snowy weather I heard some new clunking from below. I was pretty sure of the location and source.

I knew this would require welding so I called up my buddy JagGuy. His superior shoppe and skills to go with it were just the ticket for this project.

I drove up to the shoppe on Saturday morning. We never really do any work before lunch. We spent that time chatting and catching up on the latest news on our children and grandchildren’s progress to and through adulthood.

We share stories and generally solve all the world’s problems and as the Grinch so eloquently puts it in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), “Solve world hunger, tell no one.”

When Paul and his son arrives it is time to get on the road and get some food. We headed off for lunch at Earl’s Rib Palace (I know classy name, right?) It’s hard to beat their chow. The owner was Elvis’s personal chef at the time of The King’s death. With yesterday (January 8th) being the King’s birthday I thought this tidbit was appropriate to this story. After reading the history of Earl, it’s not too far a stretch to say, “Earl killed Elvis.”

Due to the conversation we had at lunch, I almost put black bars across everyone’s eyes to mask their identities.

After we put on a couple of pounds and drank a half gallon of tea we returned to the shop. We cleared the rack and ran the Range Rover up on it and lifted her up for an inspection.

The steering damper is showing some wear. I have a post prepping for that. The rear differential is showing a leak on the drive shaft seal. After I pointed that out, JagGuy quipped, “That’s not a leak, when you have to put a receptical under it to catch the fluid, then it’s a leak. I’ll keep an eye on it just the same.

We lowered the Classic so we could get the work done on her. I removed the left front wheel and wired the shock up out of the way. I took the busted piece off and we examined what would need to be done to fix it.

The shock mount is welded to the axle and is thus not a part you can readily buy and bolt on a new one. It requires a repair.

JagGuy took the mount off to the sandblasting cabinet for clean up. I got the angle grinder and wire wheel out and cleaned up the remaining part of the mount. I wiped the bits off with some degreaser and was ready for the welding to begin.

JagGuy cleaned up a large “military grade” washer. The plan was to use the washer to splint the broken bits back together. His work with the “Ma Dueces” he bobs provides lots of left over bits such as washers. The fact that the splint came from a vehicle our military used to keep Mr. I Hate America at bay makes me proud.

JagGuy started by “tacking” the broken bits in place. A few bursts of light and some sparks meant the TIG welds were in place. I learned a lot about TIG and MIG welding between coolings. This makes me wish I had taken that night class at the Vo-Tech when I worked there. Oh well, as long as I have Evil German Dudes and JagGuys willing to ply their skill I don’t have to learn it.

JagGuy then set the washer in place and used a “C” clamp to hold it in position for the first tack. This caused some issues with the bits of the original part. It moved and caused him to start over. I was happy to fetch the tools while he sorted out where it went wrong.

He got it all back in place and proceeded to weld her all up.

JagGuy finished up the welding. He was quite funny about the job. He said don’t show this to the Evil German Dude. “He wouldn’t like it, but it’ll work.”

I got some rust resistant paint and put a coat on it. After it dried…more or less…I started bolting everything back up. That’s when the slight difference in thickness of the washer caused me some problems.

The added thickness caused me to have trouble getting the nut started. JagGuy produced a different nut an after some effort I got it started and tightened up. The alignment of the bottom cup of the shock bushing is slightly skewed but shouldn’t cause any trouble.

The good news is, the weld made it all the way home and is working out well. I don’t anticipate any more trouble. If it does fail, JagGuy said we would just cut out the old one and weld in a new one. If that happens maybe I’ll invite the Evil German Dude and put his welding skills to the test.

Thanks go out to JagGuy for helping me out.
Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.